Indiscriminate and unregulated solid waste can cause chronic diseases such as cancer, infertility, hormonal imbalance and neurological disorders, which in turn can affect the overall quality of life. It can cause air pollution, drain blockage, destroy scenic beauty and endanger livestock.
Keeping in view the critical determinant for good health, a media round table on Solid Waste Management (SWM) in rural Odisha was organised by UNICEF Odisha here on Tuesday.
Addressing the gathering, UNCEF, Odisha Chief, Monika Nielson said, “Managing solid waste and the behaviour towards it needs a change. With proper planning and adequate arrangements, good waste can be used for the betterment of society. The problem needs urgent attention. ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ is the call of the time”.
In the same context, WASH Specialist Shipra Saxena said, “Waste, if treated properly can be converted to a resource and can be a good source of revenue generation”
Solid Waste Management expert, Pramod Dabrase said, “In rural areas, people burn dry waste, which kills the oxygen content in air. We need to initiate efforts to sensitise people about its adverse impact on environment and health. If decomposed properly, the waste can be used as a resource.” Solid waste can be categorised into biodegradable, non-biodegradable, hazardous and sanitary waste, he added.
Speaking in the context of Odisha, Joint Secretary PR & DW (Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water), S.C. Das said, “To improve the general quality of life in rural Odisha, the state government is now working on improving waste management intervention with focus on village and Gram Panchayat level interventions. Village community, media persons, NGOs and industries need to spread awareness about the issue. The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 are applicable to all within and outside Gram Panchayat “.